AUGUSTA — Starting April 28, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) will put cardholders’ photos on Electronic Benefits Transaction (EBT) cards.
DHHS will begin the process of adding photos at its Bangor office April 28. All new card holders in Bangor will have their photo taken when their benefits are approved and will be issued a photo ID card immediately.
“Putting photos on EBT cards helps to ensure that benefits are being used by those for whom they were intended,” said DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. “It is the right thing to do. Maine is one of the first states to do this, but it won’t be the last.”
The card will state that misuse is considered a crime.
In addition to photos, the redesigned cards feature a white background and blue banner. They replace the former Pine Tree Cards, which depicted photographs of Maine.
Certain benefits recipients, including the disabled, blind and those 60 and over, will not be required to have a photo on their cards. Old cards will remain active until new cards are delivered.
Maine joins New York and Massachusetts as states that have photos on EBT cards.
People who now receive benefits in the Bangor area will be contacted by the Office for Family Independence in the next week or so with instructions on how to get a new photo ID card. In July, all DHHS regional offices will begin taking photos. At that time, cards will be produced in a central location and will be mailed to the recipient.